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Types of Tae Kwon Do Belts

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As is the case with most martial arts, tae kwon do uses the belt-ranking system to indicate a student’s progress in the sport. While tae kwon do belts can vary between schools, the most common system uses five belt colors before a student earns a black belt, which represents the highest level of achievement. Following are the types of tae kwon do belts and their significance:

White Tae Kwon Do Belts

White tae kwon do belts, which begin at level ten, decrease in number as a student progresses through the junior belt system. Every tae kwon do student begins as a white belt at the tenth level. The purpose of the white belt is to reflect the student’s innocence when he or she first enters the world of martial arts. Before the student progresses to the next belt status, which is yellow, he or she earns a yellow stripe on his or her white belt.

Yellow Tae Kwon Do Belts

A student’s first progression is to the yellow belt status, which represents the sun and earth, the two elements that promote new growth. Before the student progresses to the green belt, he or she receives a green stripe on his or her yellow belt.

Green Tae Kwon Do Belts

The green belt represents the student’s growth and indicates that, while he or she is still unrefined, is beginning to develop his or her strength. The student receives a blue stripe on his or her green belt before progressing to the next belt level.

Blue Tae Kwon Do Belts

Next, students receive blue tae kwon do belts, which symbolize the sky. In the same way that a plant grows toward the sky, the student begins to attain higher tae kwon do ranks. He or she receives a red stripe before achieving the full red belt.

Red Tae Kwon Do Belts

The red tae kwon do belt represents the final stages of the junior tae kwon do ranks. Red signifies danger, since the student is becoming a skilled fighter at this point. Before attaining his or her black belt, the student earns a black stripe on his or her red belt.

Black Tae Kwon Do Belts

Black tae kwon do belts symbolize a student’s maturity and contrasts directly with the innocence of the white belt. When a student earns a black belt, he or she also attains the rank of first dan, which indicates his or her entrance into the advanced martial arts ranks.

Advancing through the different levels of tae kwon do belts is one of the most important aspects of succeeding in this martial art, as it helps students measure their accomplishments. While every student’s dream is typically to earn his or her black belt one day, passing through each rank can help students set realistic and achievable goals during every class.

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